By Corinne Clements

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s installment of TraQing News! From vacuum loyalty to retail stores of the future, here are some of our favorite articles from last week to get you back into the swing of working:

Some Owners Love Their Vacuums Even If They Break | Mary H.J. Farrell: Sometimes longevity isn’t the key to keeping customers happy. Or at least, it’s not the only key. As Consumer Reports notes, consumers can be fiercely loyal to brands if the performance is good, no matter how many times a vacuum must be repaired or replaced.

Amazon lowers free shipping minimum back to $25 | Jacob Kastrenakes: The battle for consumer’s hearts is still raging in the e-retail world. In order to remain competitive, Amazon’s free shipping threshold is $25 again, down from $35 (which is, in turn, down from $49). More surprisingly, they made the change with little fanfare. (On the other hand, their rival Target just raised its minimum for free shipping to $35).

Learning from the Store of the Future | HBSDealer Staff: There’s no more denying that brick and mortar stores have to evolve to stay relevant. HBSDealer profiled a recent talk given by Benjamin Moore’s VP of retail services, Eugene Andreassi, where he outlined the changes his company has made to attract and delight consumers. While his takeaways are predominately aimed at his own company, canny retailers can take advantage of his insights for their own brick and mortar stores.

Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game | David Pierce: In the battle of the smartphones, iOS and Android dominated. But don’t count Windows out completely. At their annual developers’ conference, Microsoft Build, Microsoft announced that users can work across platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.) using Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant AI. This cross-platform usability could be a real game changer for Microsoft!

If articles like these have whetted your appetite for more consumer durables industry news, follow @TraQline on twitter and The Stevenson Company on LinkedIn! See an article you think we should feature in our weekly roundup? Let us know by tweeting us and tag it with #TraQingNews.

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We’ll see you next week!